Archive for September 26, 2011

When We Remembered Zion

“When We Remembered Zion”
“בזכרנו את ציון”
(Psalms, 137:1)

“Zion” in Jewish scripture [mentioned 108 times] is sometimes the Holy City with its sacred associations, sometimes the sorrowful Land of Israel awaiting the return of her exiled children. The yearning for Zion in its religious, literary and political forms found expression in travel & photo books, Hebrew primers, pilgrimage diaries and religious pamphlets.
Our new display reflects some of the Frances-Henry Library’s holdings of this literature.

AUTHOR Gordon, Benjamin Lee, 1870-1965.
TITLE New Judea ; Jewish life in modern Palestine and Egypt / by Benjamin L. Gordon. PUBLICATION Philadelphia : J. H. Greenstone, 1919.

Marcos Regalsky "What I saw in the land of Israel" (Yiddish)

Marcos Regalsky "What I saw in the land of Israel" (Yiddish)

AUTHOR Regalsky, Marcos, 1885-1959.
TITLE ‏וואס איך האב געזען אין ארץ-ישראל /‏ ‏מ. רעגאלסקי.
PUBLICATION ‏בוענאס אײרעס :‏ ‏עבודה,‏ ‏1936.
(What I Saw in the Land of Israel. Buenos Aires, 1936.)

AUTHOR Marmorosch, A.
TITLE Alte und neue Stätten in Palästina und Südsyrien ; ein moderner Führer / von A. Marmorosch.
PUBLICATION Jerusalem ; Buchdruckerei Azriel, 1931.
(Old and new places in Palestine and southern Syria, a modern guide. Jerusalem, 1931)

AUTHOR MacGregor, John, 1825-1892.
TITLE The Rob Roy on the Jordan, Nile, Red Sea, and Gennesareth, etc. : A canoe cruise in Palestine and Egypt and the waters of Damascus / By J. Macgregor…with maps and illustrations. EDITION 7th ed.
PUBLICATION London : John Murray, 1886.

AUTHOR Buckingham, James Silk,
TITLE Reisen durch Syrien und Palestina …
PUBLICATION Weimar : Verlage des Landes – Industrie, 1827-28.
(Traveling through Syria and Palestine. Weimar, Germany, 1827/28)

AUTHOR Neil, James,
TITLE Palestine explored : with a view to its present natural features, and to the prevailing manners, customs, rites, and colloquial expressions of its people, which throw light on the figurative language of the Bible / by James Neil. EDITION 6th ed.
PUBLICATION London : J. Nisbet, [1881?]

We Remembered Zion case

exhibit case

AUTHOR Katznelson-Shazar, Rachel, 1888-1975
TITLE Arbeiterinnen erzählen : Kampf und Leben in Erez Jisrael / [comp. by R.K. Rubaschoff ; tr. from the Hebrew by R. Freier] ; Hrsg. vom Hechaluz, Deutscher Landesverband.
PUBLICATION Berlin : “Kedem”, 1935.
(Workers’ stories: struggle and life in Eretz Yisrael. Berlin, 1935)

AUTHOR Harry, Myriam.
TITLE A springtide in Palestine / by Myriam Harry.
PUBLICATION London : E. Benn Ltd., 1924.

AUTHOR Berḳman, Yitsḥaḳ.
TITLE בארצנו : מסע לארץ ישראל (עם ציורים) / יצחק ברקמן.
PUBLICATION ורשה : ניצוצות, תרפ”ב [1922 or 1921] DESCRIPTION 152 p. : ill. ; 21 cm. SERIES STATEMENT ביבליותיקה לילדים ולנערים ; 3
(In our land: a journey to Eretz Yisrael [with pictures]. Warsaw, 1921)

AUTHOR Klinov, I.
TITLE משוט בישראל : אלבום.
PUBLICATION תל-אביב : הוצאת ״לעם״, [1950] 711.
English, French and Hebrew. In a metal bookholder with inscribed title: Encyclopaedia of Israel in pictures.
(Traveling in Israel: a picture album. Tel Aviv, 1950)

AUTHOR Fyvel, T. R. 1907-1985.
TITLE This is Israel / 86 photographs by Boris Kowadlo ; text by T.R. Fyvel [pseud.] PUBLICATION Oxford : B. Cassirer ; Tel Aviv : Tevel Pub. Co., [n.d.]

AUTHOR Belkind, Israel, 1861-1929.
TITLE ארץ ישראל : ספר למוד גיאוגרפיה של ארצנו / ישראל בלקינד.
PUBLICATION ניו-יורק : הוצאת המאיר, 1919.
(Eretz Yisrael: a geography textbook of our land. New York, 1919)

AUTHOR Sharnopolsky, Samuel.
TITLE מורה-דרך לארץ ישראל / ש. שרנופולסקי.
PUBLICATION תל-אביב : דפוס השחר,1930
(A guide to Eretz Yisrael. Tel Aviv, 1930)

Title page of Mencken's Erez Israel

Title page of Mencken's Erez Israel

AUTHOR Mencken, H. L. 1880-1956.
TITLE Erez Israel / by H.L. Mencken.
PUBLICATION [N.Y.: B.P. Safran], 1935.
Reprinted from the Evening Sun, Baltimore.
“Twenty five copies, for presentation only, printed by B.P. Safran at The New school [for social research, New York. Alvin Johnson, director]”

TITLE Journeys to the Promised Land / edited by Nachman Ran.
PUBLICATION New York : Portland House : Distributed by Crown Publishers, 1989, c1988.

AUTHOR Sokolow, Nahum, 1859-1936.
TITLE ארץ חמדה, כולל ידיעת גלילות אה”ק על פי גדולי התיירים. PUBLICATION ווארשא, בדפוס יצחק גאלדמאן, תרמ”ה [1885]
(Land of yearning, Warsaw, 1885)

Title page of Benjamin of Tudela

Travels of Benjamin of Tudela

AUTHOR Benjamin of Tudela, 12th cent.
TITLE Beniamini Tvdelensis itinerarivm : ex versione Benedicti Ariae Montani. Svbiectae svnt descriptiones Mechae et Medinae-Alnabi ex itinerariis Lvdovici Vartomanni et Iohannis Wildii…
PUBLICATION Lipsiae : Ioann. Michael. Ludov. Tevbner, 1764.
(The travels of Benjamin of Tudela)

Banned Books Week Again!

Two years ago we put together a small display of banned books at the Frances-Henry Library. We focused on censorship imposed on  Jewish world texts, whether exercised by outsiders who banned, burned and “edited” Jewish sacred and secular texts, or by insiders; rabbis, librarians, teachers who stopped short of burning books, but did not shy away from banishing, banning and censoring books that they deemed blasphemous, inappropriate, and sacrilegious.

This year, as the Banned Books Week approaches (September 24-October 1), I find myself, once again, puzzled by the fact that more than 500 years after the invention of moveable print, and two decades of a constantly expanding Internet, we still need to remind ourselves that banning books is almost as common as publishing them, and that some people and institutions are still threatened by the endless possibilities of open access and the freedom to read.


Exhibit for Banned Books Week

Exhibit in the Frances-Henry Library


The books I chose to display are my own, part of a collection I use when I teach about censorship and the power of reading. You, too, have some banned books in your libraries. Just look at the lists published by the American Library Association at:

I guarantee that you will find some old friends listed.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)

Decameron (1350-1353)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884/1885)

Harry Potter (1997-2007)

Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

Clockwork Orange (1962)

Animal Farm (1945)

What’s Wrong (2000)


On the Cost of Scholarship, or: There is No Garage Sale @ Brill

I just initialed a purchase requisition for 14 books – not an uncommon act of an academic library’s director. The price tag: $3032.00 – less and less an uncommon price tag for scholarly publications. Why should you care? Because as I was excitedly reading the back-cover summaries and endorsements, pouring over their rich tables of content, and congratulating myself on once again putting our collection on the cutting edge of scholarship, it dawned on me that it may take a long time before anyone else gets excited over any of them, or over the total amounts that our library system invests in anticipating and meeting the needs of our faculty and students.

Why is that? I asked myself, and what can the library do to make you more aware, and to make the books more visible? But before I answer my own questions (not a Hokhmeh*, as my mother would say…), I am going to have you taste the titles, breath in the aromas of intriguing ideas, and hopefully, have you order from the menu:
Cover image of book
Studies in the History of Culture and Science: a Tribute to Gad Freudenthal. Edited by R. Fontaine, R. Glasner, R. Leicht and G. Veltri. Twenty two chapters on the history of science and the role of science in Judaism.

From Two Kingdoms to One Nation – Israel and Judah; Studies in Division and Unification. By Shamai Gelander.

Bene Israel: Studies in the Archaeology of Israel and the Levant during the Bronze and Iron Ages in Honour of Israel Finkelstein. Edited by A. Fantalkin & A. Yasur-Landau.

“From a Sacred Source”: Genizah Studies in Honour of Professor Stefan C. Reif. Edited by B.M. Outhwaite & S. Bhayro. Papers from the 2007 Cambridge conference

Spirituality in the Writings of Etty Hillesum: Proceedings of the Etty Hillesum Conference at Ghent University, November 2008. Edited by K.A.D. Smelik, R. van den Brandt & M.G.S. Coetsier.

The Same but Different? : Inter-Cultural Trade and the Sephardim, 1595-1640. By J. V. Roitman. The study challenges historiographical arguments that the Sephardim achieved their commercial success by relying on geographically dispersed family members and fellow ethnics.

Opening the Gates of Interpretation: Maimonides’ Biblical Hermeneutics in Light of His Geonic-Andalusian Heritage and Muslim Milieu. By M.Z. Cohen.

The Temple of Jerusalem: From Moses to the Messiah, in Honor of Professor Louis H. Feldman.The Temple of Jerusalem: From Moses to the Messiah, in Honor of Professor Louis H. Feldman. Edited by Steven Fine.

Legal Fictions: Studies in Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages. By S. D. Fraade

From Conquest to Coexistence: Ideology and Antiquarian Intent in the Historiography of Israel’s Settlement in Canaan. By K. van Kekkum.

Without Any Doubt: Geronides on Method and Knowledge. By S. Klein-Braslavy.

The Martyrdom of a Moroccan Jewish Saint.The Martyrdom of a Moroccan Jewish Saint. By S. Vance On the martyrdom of Sol Hatchuel, a Jewish girl from Tangier, that traumatized the Jewish community and inspired a literary response in Morocco and beyond.

The City Besieged: Siege and Its Manifestations in the Ancient Near East. By I. Eph’al.

History of Modern Jewish Religious Philosophy; v. 1: The Period of the Enlightenment. By Eliezer Schweid.


Book cover for From conquest to conexsistence.Aha! Time to Jewishly answer my original questions – that is, with more questions – and make a few suggestions that will make such treasures more visible and accessible to you.

Did you know you can find out about our recent acquisitions when you log on to our website? Try:

Do you ever look at the bookstand at the entrance to our Joseph Reading Room? This serves as the “hot off the press” carousel to books that are even newer than the ones listed on the “New Books” page!

How about looking at the dust jackets’ displayed on our bulletin board? (Librarian lingo for book covers…) Everything up there is catalogued, shelved, and ready to go!

OK. Now it’s up to you to make me a true believer, allow me to complete the purchase request with a clean conscience and consider it money well spent.



* Profound wisdom, in (sarcastic) Yiddish